June 6, 2017
Minor League Update
Games of June 5, 2017
Minor League Update, June 5th
Hitter of the Day:
Gavin LaValley, 1B, Cincinnati Reds (High-A, Daytona): 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI, K
Javier Barragan just wrote up LaValley yesterday for the Monday Morning Ten Pack.
Pitcher of the Day:
Lucas Giolito, RHP, Chicago White Sox (Triple-A, Charlotte): 6 IP, 5 H, R, ER, 2 BB, 11 K
Things seem to be back on the up and up for Giolito. I don’t know if it is for real yet, major league hitters will be the ones that tells us that.
Other Notable Performances:
Mike Soroka, RHP, Atlanta Braves (Double-A, Mississippi): 8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 9 K
Think about this. Yes, the Braves pushed him, but that was because they believed he was ready. When everything is working, Soroka could have three plus pitches, plus control, and above-average command to turn into a monster.
Justin Dunn, RHP, New York Mets (High-A, St. Lucie): 5 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K
I have seen Dunn plenty this year, so has Javier Barragan. He has a much different opinion on him than myself, seeing him as more a swingman than established starting pitcher.
Ariel Hernandez, RHP, Cincinnati Reds (Double-A, Pensacola): 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K
Claimed in the minor league Rule 5 draft back in 2015, Hernandez always had the stuff to succeed. His fastball is elite, and his breaking ball got high marks as well; but never threw enough strikes and didn’t have an athletic delivery. The Reds worked with him, and he looks like a bullpen fixture now.
Franklyn Kilome, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies (High-A, Clearwater): 5 IP, H, 5 BB, 4
Kilome has long been tantalizing, with a 70-grade fastball, and a tall, wiry body to dream on. While he is thicker than his listed weight of 175 pounds, he is still quite lean and can add to his frame. Fastball velocity will never be the problem, thoughhe needs more consistency with his off-speed to succeed as a starter.
Michael Rucker, RHP, Chicago Cubs (High-A, Myrtle Beach): 5 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 6 K
A senior-sign 11th rounder in the 2016 draft, Rucker made a quick promotion to High-A after performing well at Low-A. But he lacks much besides the ability to spot strikes with his entire arsenal.
Gleyber Torres, SS, New York Yankees (Triple-A, Scranton-Wilkes Barre): 3-3, R, HR, 4 RBI
Speaking of eyewitness reports, check out Jarrett Seidler’s Gleyber article today.
Max Pentecost, C/1B, Toronto Blue Jays (High-A, Dunedin): 3-5, R, RBI
It is good to see Pentecost catching again, for both his prospect value, and because of all the injuries he has had to deal with. While the arm strength is still coming back, Pentecost has been smooth behind the plate. Maybe not a full-timer behind the plate, but Pentecost bat will force that decision down the road.
Skye Bolt, OF, Oakland Athletics (High-A, Stockton): 2-4, 2 R, 2 2B, RBI GAME IN PROGRESS.
The owner of a 70-grade name, Bolt is a literal toolshed. He has plus speed, a plus arm, can get it in CF with the best of them, and features above-average raw power. But he has struggled to recognize pitchers and struggles overall when batting RH.
Ildemaro Vargas, SS, Arizona Diamondbacks (Triple-A, Reno): 3-4, 2 R, 2 2B, 2 RBI
One of many, many, many players the D-backs sign out of the Independent Leagues, Vargas looks the part of a future UTIL INF. The switch hitter can control the bat from both sides, and can pick it at SS, which means he can pick it anywhere else.
Willy Adames, SS, Tampa Bay Rays (Triple-A, Durham): 1-3, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K
Next stop, Tampa Bay, expected arrival, this season.
Alex Blandino, 2B, Cincinnati Reds (Double-A, Pensacola): 2-3, 2 R, HR, 4 RBI, BB
You would be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t believe in Blandino heading into the 2014 draft. The former Stanford product had it all going for him, but alas, #ScoutingisHard. Professional pitchers have exploited his often too patient approach, and can often sell out for power too much.
Juan Kelly, 1B, Toronto Blue Jays (High-A, Dunedin): 3-5, 2B, RBI
A prime example of how far hitting can take you in an organization. Originally a catcher, he was below-average behind the plate, but could really hit a baseball from both sides. Now playing the hot and cold corners, Kelly will have to keep hitting to progress as he lacks much in the way of running or defensive value.
Fight Another Day:
Dillon Overton, LHP, Seattle Mariners (Triple-A, Tacoma): 3 1/3 IP, 7 H, 10 R, 10 ER, 4 BB, 2 K
Another example of why #ScoutingisHard. Overton was the staff ace at Oklahoma (some guy named Jon Gray was behind him), and while teams knew he would need TJ Surgery when they drafted him, they felt he would bounce back quickly. The velocity he once had (91-93) never came back, and he has struggled to establish himself with his current pedestrian velocity.
Brian Anderson, 3B, Miami Marlins (Double-A, Jacksonsville): 0-4, 4 K
Sometimes, in parts of Florida that aren’t underwater, hitting a baseball is hard.
Steve Givarz is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
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